Fix your Strains and Sores with healing, pain-reducing Electrotherapy
It may sound like something Dr Frankenstein used to create his Monster in Mary Shelley’s classic but never fear, as electrotherapy is actually a hugely reliable, useful way of treating injuries to restore you to prime physical health. Pioneered in 1856 by Guillaume Duchenne electrotherapy is, in simple terms, the use of electrical energy as a medical treatment. Its recorded use is as far back as 1767 in several London hospitals but only in the 1800s did it start to be used more frequently as a form of treatment. Electrotherapy is a term used to describe a variety of treatments involving electrical devices but the use we will look at in extensive detail is the use of electrical currents to speed up the process of healing injuries.
The range of uses electrotherapy can be put to include, pain management, joint mobility, tissue repair and neuromuscular dysfunction among others. When used primarily in physical therapy, electrotherapy helps with relaxation of muscle spasms, increase of local blood circulation, muscle rehabilitation, electrical muscle stimulation as well as maintaining and increasing range of motion, management of chronic and intractable pain and post-traumatic acute pain. Such are the versatile uses to which electrotherapy can be put to in modern treatment practices. Technology has developed in the 21st century to the extent that we can now look at fresh, innovative treatment methods and ways to tackle the injuries and ailments afflicting people through the ages.
One of the main methods of electrotherapy currently in use is ultrasound for therapeutic benefit. This includes HIFU, lithotripsy, targeted ultrasound drug delivery, trans-dermal ultrasound drug delivery, ultrasound haemostasis, cancer therapy, and ultrasound assisted thrombolysis. It may be either focused ultrasound (FUS) or unfocused ultrasound that is used in the treatment. When applied, the ultrasound stimulates the tissue beneath the skin’s surface using very high frequency sound waves between the levels of 800,000 Hz and 2,000,000 Hz which cannot be heard by human beings. The apparatus used for ultrasound treatment is either a transducer or applicator which is put into direct contact with the patient’s skin. Sound waves of 0.7 to 3.3 MHz are applied from these devices of alternating compression and rarefaction to provide a full therapeutic solution.
The first large scale application of ultrasound was during World War II. During this period sonar systems were being built and developed in order to navigate submarines. It was then discovered the high intensity ultra sound waves they were using were actually heating and killing fish. This prompted large scale and wide impact research to look into its tissue heating and healing effects. Therefore since this game changing research in the 1940s, ultrasound as a therapeutic treatment method has been used by physical and occupational therapists worldwide for its beneficial healing effects. Numerous conditions have been effectively alleviated and mitigated in severity by ultrasound treatment including, ligament sprains, muscle strains, tendonitis, joint inflammation, plantar fasciitis, metatarsalgia, facet irritation, impingement syndrome, bursitis, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, and scar tissue adhesion.
Electrotherapy is not for everyone. Or so they think! Completely safe and risk-free, it is administered by fully-qualified and highly-skilled professionals who make your comfort and relaxation their top priority. When you factor in the wide-ranging beneficial effects of electrotherapy including its more advanced healing process, a more effective circulatory system and increased muscle tone, it is no surprise patients commonly describe it as being the solution that has worked best for them where others have not. They report a significant reduction in pain, increased strength, better range of movement and stronger speed and strength of muscles contractions as well as increased rate of absorption. It is generally reported swelling caused by injury will also respond well to electrotherapy; these include sprained ankles and overuse injuries such as tennis and golfer’s elbow.
Whether it is chronic or severe pain, a long term condition like arthritis or an injury that just won’t go away, electrotherapy is a treatment solution to be considered and taken up by people of all ages and health backgrounds. For many physiotherapists worldwide it has become a popular and major form of therapy and healing within their establishments with more attention and funding being focused towards it. As a means of promoting healing, reducing inflammation, decreasing pain and breaking down scar tissue and adhesions, electrotherapy is a hugely worthwhile form of treatment guaranteed to make significant changes to your body and, by extension, your mental and physical health and wellbeing.
At Healthsure Physiotherapy, we are committed to providing innovative, healing ultrasound electrotherapy, administered by caring, professional staff.
Also published on Medium.